Sunday, April 19, 2009

1000 Banknote by RA Studija

They say that money doesn't grow on trees. Well, in Kaunas it grows on buildings. A curvaceous, luminous, 10-floor office building designed in the form of a LTL 1,000 banknote, Office Center 1000 is being touted locally as one of the Baltic region's most daring and original construction projects.
Office Center '1000'
Design Team: RA Studija
Location: Taikos str. 88a, Kaunas, Lithuania
When to visit: 2008

Despite what you might think, this is not a temporal installation. The image of the LTL 1000 banknote is brought onto this 10-story building using special enamel paint. During the process the paint turns into a ceramic print that lasts forever. Jonas Plenta, marketing manager of Urmas, the company behind the project, insists that the new structure is not simply a mighty monument to the power of money.

“At around the same time we were assessing some of the design projects for a new office building in 2005, Lithuania was one of two new EU member states applying to join the euro zone. We happened to come across a very elegant banknote dating from 1926, and decided to use it as our overall theme.”

The exterior consists of 4,500 different pieces of glass with enamel designs, which are being slotted together like a giant jigsaw puzzle. The glass was made in the Netherlands and shipped over, and it can, Plenta assures, withstand even the most extreme Lithuanian weather.

The chief Lithuanian architect is Rimas Adomaitis of RA Studija, a young and relatively unknown but promising talent who enjoys experimenting with forms and new technologies. He adds that this particular banknote came out between the two devastating world wars during a period that Lithuania was independant. It is a virtuous image.

It was obvious that the highly modern appearance of the building would clash with the much older architecture of the city center. This is one reason why Urmas instead chose a location in the northern suburbs, close to the Vilnius-Kaunas-Klaipeda highway.

Appropriately enough, two main players in the Lithuanian banking market, SEB and Snoras Bankas, were among the first takers for tenancy. How amazing is that! With these tenants the fa├žade suddenly has become representational. It is like a self-fulfilling prophecy. So far, Office Center 1000 is 85 percent full, with space now available only on the more expensive upper floors. The 10th floor, in fact, is an excellent location for an office; on a fine day, you can just make out the Baroque spires of Pazaislis.

via 1000lt | eikongraphia | Baltic Times


Ben M said...

Incredible idea! The link above is not pointing to Urmas. It should probably point to

gix said...